PALO PINTO – Palo Pinto County Commissioners on Monday agreed to sell one property while continuing to look at acquiring another.

After a closed-door meeting, commissioners unanimously accepted Thomas Sims Jr.'s bid to buy the former Precinct 1 barn property at 1200 South Oak Avenue for $53,176.18. He intends to remove the deteriorating former precinct barn and expand his neighboring car business there.

Old precinct barn

Palo Pinto County commissioners on Monday approved a bid to sell a long-ago vacated county precinct barn on South Oak Avenue in Mineral Wells.

The county in June rejected two bids for that property because they came in below its $31,890 appraised value.

Commissioners decided to hold off for 45 days a decision to acquire the former Bank of America building in Mineral Wells from NSC Properties.

The proposal before the county is giving NSC Properties the downtown Poston's Building on South Oak Avenue, which serves as the county annex, plus $1.26 million in exchange for the bank property at 100 S.E. 6th Avenue.

NSC Properties purchased the property in January 2018, shortly after Mineral Wells voters rejected a nearly $6 million bond proposal to renovate the property into a new city hall.

Poston's is on the appraisal district tax rolls with a listed valuation of $383,410. NSC's bid assigned a value of $450,000 for Poston's. NSC's proposal puts the bank property's market valuation at around $1.75 million. Currently empty, the appraisal district lists the former building and land's taxable value at $668,870.

The county has set aside $3 million in capital improvement funds in the current year's budget. Commissioners have been exploring options to create additional space to ease crowding in the main courthouse.

County Judge Shane Long said the county is hoping to soon receive from the city its evaluation of the two-story building, while also conducting its own inspection. The city had proposed in its bond package replacing the building's roof and HVAC system. Elevator and ADA-accessible restrooms were also cited as needing updates and repairs.

Conceptual plans for downtown Mineral Wells called for moving the county annex off North Oak Avenue and using that property for commercial or retail use more in line with the downtown's renovation efforts.

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